The European Parliament (also called Qatargate by the press)AP) corruption and as the investigation into the money laundering scandal continues, a new decision has been made in the AP. Belgian Socialist EP member Marc Tarabella and Italian Socialist AP member Andrea Cozzolino, whose names are mentioned with corruption and money laundering scandal, were voted in the EP Legal Affairs Commission to lift their immunity. In the secret committee vote on whether the proposal to lift the immunity of both EP members should be sent to a vote in the EP General Assembly, all EP members voted for the lifting of the immunity of Tarabella and Cozzolino.
WILL VOTE AT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
French EP Member Manon Aubry, who was tasked with writing the report on the subject, said: “It was a vote without hesitation. Our commission has never been this fast. We tried to be fast so that justice could do its job.” After the unanimous vote in the commission, the relevant proposal will be brought to the agenda of the EP General Assembly to be held in the capital, Brussels, on Thursday. It is expected that the immunity of both EP members will be lifted in the General Assembly vote.
In Belgium, on December 9, last year, 16 separate operations were carried out in the capital Brussels in the investigation of corruption and money laundering, and it was alleged that Qatar had bribed people in strategic positions in order to influence the EP’s decisions. Eva Kaili, a former Greek lawmaker who is one of the EP’s 14 vice presidents, Pier-Antonio Panzeri, member of the Italian Articolo Uno Party, Luca Visentini, Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and Francesco Giorgi, assistant from the Group of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). corruption investigation was taken into custody.
During the raids carried out by the police, 1.5 million euros were seized. Kaili, who has been a member of the EP for 8 years, was dismissed by EP President Metsola. Kaili was also expelled from Greece’s centre-left Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) Party, while being suspended from the Socialists and Democrats Group in the EP. Greek authorities froze the assets of Kaili, his wife and close family members.
On the other hand, in December last year, it was revealed that Belgium’s state security agency VSSE had been working on an investigation into corruption allegations for more than a year with the help of other European Union (EU) countries.